Ulla Pohjola


Visual Artist

Ulla Pohjola

Ulla Pohjola

Through my hands pass the lines and threads of life. By embroidering them I turn into visibility the unseen, the conscious as well as the subconscious, the darkness and the light. The work carries itself on without any preliminary plans; new routes are found spontaneously. Presence, feelings and images are transferred into the works. I am a mediator: a slip of a needle, drop of blood, I am alive.

Needle is my paint brush, colours live in my heart. Moments, words and expressions. Pearls, playing cards and stones. I use my needle and thread to make recollections of people, passages of time and the sacredness hidden in everyday life. I search traces of the past and the future in fabrics, old and new, dyed and recycled. Bits of thread, teared fabrics, stains, seams and holes are messages.

In my works I combine hand embroidered pieces with machine embroidered, add buttons, rowanberries, rose leaves, old jewelry, pike backbone vertebrae, luscious velvets and translucent silk organza. I have got the touch of the materials, the richness of them, at my fingertips.

Embroidering requires peacefulness, silence and a state of concentration. The meditative nature of embroidery links it to the great festivals of life, such as birth, marriage and death - to the eternal course of life, which I am a part of. The laborious method of embroidery, thousands of stitches and numerous work hours bring along sacredness and dignity, which makes me want to compose myself.

Excerpts from reviews

These images embroided with threads, pearls and spangles unveil before us a view to something fragile and fairytalelike.
- Marja-Terttu Kivirinta (HS 2000)
Pohjola´s technical virtuosity, diligence and the control of materials is incredible.
- Kaisa Heinänen (HS, 2010)
The works made with fine threads and countless hours have accumulated into themselves silent strenght along the slow journey.
- Katri Kovasiipi (Aamulehti 2012)

Read more Excerpts from Reviews!